Analysis Of Language By Susan Broditsky

1181 Words 5 Pages
In her article, Boroditsky discusses how languages change how we think by appealing to common knowledge, using examples from different languages and cultures, and using rhetorical questions for her audience of students, scientists, and professionals.
Boroditsky applies references to common knowledge by using nursery rhymes, popular culture, and a literary allusion. By using common knowledge in the text, the author helps readers understand that language changes the way we think by using examples that the reader will recognize to understand complex ideas and to relate them to everyday life. For example, Boroditsky uses the children’s nursery rhyme, Humpty Dumpty, to begin her discussion of language, “Take “Humpty Dumpty sat on a…” Even this snippet
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Boroditsky uses Humpty Dumpty to explain how in the English language you don’t have to include gender like in Russian or include how you came about the information like you would in Turkish. She begins her argument by using a simple example to demonstrate how regular people don’t think about the fact that language influences the culture. Like Humpty Dumpty, The author uses popular example people would remember to describe how different people interpreted the “wardrobe malfunction” of Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake (Boroditsky 439). This quotation is an appeal to common knowledge because most adults will remember this incident. It demonstrates my thesis because the author is thinking about her audience and is trying to make her ideas more entertaining for her audience. She also similarly makes a literary allusion to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet by saying, “And Shakespeare, it turns out, was wrong about roses: Roses by many other names (as told to blindfolded subjects) do not smell as sweet” (Boroditsky 439). Boroditsky is using Shakespeare to explain a study about …show more content…
Boroditsky in fact uses rhetorical questions to book end her entire argument. For instance, ‘’Do the languages we speak shape the way we think? Do they merely express thoughts, or do the structures in languages (Without our knowledge or consent) shape the very thoughts we wish to express? (Boroditsky 437)’’ She uses this rhetorical question in her paper to get the audience to start thinking a little bit about what she is trying to say throughout her article. It demonstrates my thesis because she is making her audience understand what is going on and she is trying to make the article easy to understand. Boroditsky uses these rhetorical questions knowing the audience understands what is going on but she just wants to make sure that everyone is on the same page as her. These get the reader’s attention so she continues to use them in her paper. She also uses, “So if Pormpuraawans think differently about space, do they think differently about other things, like time?” She uses this rhetorical question to grab the audience attention by asking such a simple question but can really make you think about a lot. Different cultures do things a lot different than other cultures which is why she ask such a simple question but really has a lot of thinking that you could do behind it. We can’t answer that question because we are not from that culture. She uses this

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